Group fighting marriage amendment raises $1.2 million

The largest group working to defeat a proposed state constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage said it has raised more than $1.2 million in cash and in-kind contributions.

A campaign finance report provided by Minnesotans United for All Families shows it received contributions from more than 5,100 people in 2011.

According to the documents, Minnesota Twins owner Jim Pohlad gave $10,000. Marilyn Carlson Nelson of Minneapolis-based Carlson Companies gave the largest single contribution -- $40,000. Carlson Companies owns hotels, restaurants and travel businesses. Other gay rights groups gave tens of thousands of dollars.

About three-fourths of the money came from donors within Minnesota, said campaign manager Richard Carlbom.

"Our energy and our support isn't imported from the East Coast or the West Coast," he said. "It's happening right here in Minnesota on the ground."

Most of the money was raised at more than 170 small house parties, Carlbom said.

The largest pro-amendment group, Minnesota for Marriage, won't release its finance report until the state filing deadline on Tuesday, said spokesman Chuck Darrell.

"Comparing numbers to numbers to numbers right now is premature," he said. "Our report's going to come out Tuesday, well within how the law requires it. Again, our fundraising is going well, we're going to continue to press forward and we're going to raise what it takes to get the job done."

Minnesotans will vote on the amendment in November.

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